Collector’s Club – September 2017

2009 Domaine Sorin, Côtes de Provence Prestige — Côtes de Provence is a large, non-contiguous appellation in France’s southeastern Provence region. Bandol is considered the top appellation here, and this estate is actually classified as part Bandol and part Côtes de Provence. Burgundy native Luc Sorin took over the estate in 1994, and he has since earned a reputation as one of the most exciting winegrowers in the region. He farms his 32-acre estate, located 3 kilometers from the sea, organically, and he ages his reds in oak, which has not been a traditional practice here. This dark, rustic 70% Syrah/30% Mourvèdre blend is from the 2009 vintage and it has developed wonderfully complex layers of earth and spice. Give it some air, and enjoy it with duck, cassoulet, or Provençal fare such as ratatouille or anything with aïoli. $18

2015 Bodega Garzón, Marselan Reserve — When it comes to South American wines, most people think of the Malbecs of Argentina or Chile’s Carménères. Uruguay, on the Atlantic coast, has a relatively short history of winemaking but we’re seeing more and more excellent wines from this country, especially from serious producers such as Bodega Garzón. Their vineyards are planted on hillside slopes located about ten miles from the Atlantic Ocean and the stony soil and maritime breezes provide perfect conditions for producing elegant, complex wines. Uruguay is best known for wines made from the red grape Tannat, but this month we present a Marselan, a cross of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, created in 1961 in the French town of Marseillan. It is rich and smooth, and expresses the minerality of Garzón’s unique terroir. Pair it with roasted meats with Provençal vegetables, pork stew, or strong cheeses. $19

2016 Antonio Sanguineti, Nessun Dorma — Tuscan winemaker Antonio Sanguineti has long been a familiar face, on our shelves, in our clubs, and sometimes even in our shop, when he’s not at home in Tuscany listening to opera, racing cars, or making wine. He has been part of the Small Vineyards family since 2002—almost from the beginning. His love of opera takes center stage with this wine, half Sangiovese, with 30% Merlot and 20% Syrah, named for his favorite aria (from Puccini’s Turandot). The Merlot adds elegance and floral notes and the Syrah contributes depth and body to the fresh, bright Sangiovese. We suggest a quick decant to really open up those flavors. With its notes of forest floor and ripe cherry, it’s perfect for spinach and mushroom ravioli with Parmesan or chicken marsala. $16

2016 Kalfu, Sumpai Sauvignon Blanc — We were wowed when we first tried this direct import offering from Small Vineyards, who call it one of the world’s first “extreme terroir” wines. It comes from Chile’s Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, where daily temperatures can fluctuate up to 60 degrees. This is where winemakers Alejandro Galaz and Felipe Toso, both cool-climate specialists, chose to source their fruit. The vineyard is just 16 kilometers from the sea, with calcareous soils, and the grapes have an extremely long ripening period. This Sauv Blanc is surprisingly complex and layered. It is clean and fresh with a touch of grassiness, but it also has amazing richness and subtle notes of herbs and jalapeño peppers. It would pair equally well with fish or crustaceans, or with white meat dishes. $19.75

2014 True Myth, Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon — True Myth is a project by the Niven Family, pioneering wine growers in California’s Edna Valley, who were instrumental in establishing the region as an official AVA in 1982. Their True Myth line reaches beyond their Edna Valley roots, sourcing fruit from other exceptional sites. This Cabernet comes from premium vineyards in Paso Robles, a region with some of the largest diurnal temperature shifts in the state. With its well-drained soils, it is reminiscent of the growing conditions in Bordeaux and this wine opens with rather Bordeaux-like aromas. Smooth and rich, with excellent depth and balanced tannins, it is very accessible now but should continue to evolve for a number of years to come. Enjoy it with lamb burgers or tomato-based pasta dishes. $19.75

2016 Alves de Sousa, Vale da Raposa Branco — Every now and then we like to include a still wine from Portugal, to remind people that there’s more from this country on the Iberian Peninsula than its delicious Ports. This producer is based in the Douro, situated around the Douro River valley in the north. The region has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and cold winters. This white is a blend of 60% Malvasia Fina, a grape that tends to produce fresh, subtle wines with moderate complexity, and 40% Gouveio, a Douro grape with good acidity, plenty of body, and fresh, citrus notes. Blended together, they produce this expressive, pretty wine with melon notes, and wonderful stony minerality. Great for seafood or a variety of Asian dishes. $13